James Mead by James Mead

Monday Links - Week 224

The First Federated #Indieweb Comment Thread

Posting content on my own site (or using my preferred service) and having that content notify/appear on the site I’m mentioning is something I’ve been thinking about for years. Way back when, I even spent some time modifying the delicious firefox plugin to send trackbacks to the sites I was bookmarking. Hopefully I’ll find some time to add similar functionality to Roosmarks in the near future. CR

BERG - Week 408

In this week’s All Hands, we discussed Weeknotes. What are Weeknotes? Why do we do them,? Who reads them? Should they continue? Well, apparently Neil’s Mum reads them and this is as good a reason to continue as any, so here’s what’s happening this week…

Given some of our own internal discussions about the purpose of our weeknotes, it was interesting to read that others share some of our concerns, even if they don’t seem to have come to any real conclusions. JM

Improve Your Ruby Workflow by Integrating vim/tmux/pry

I’m still looking to improve my vim setup, particularly with regard to the efficient running of tests. And so I was intrigued to read about Nicolas Viennot’s approach which neatly side-steps the pre-loading problem solved by the likes of spork, zeus & spring.

Instead he adds pry commands to make it possible to run tests (amongst other things) from within an interactive ruby session. The video in his blog post is definitely a bit of an eye-opener in terms of developer productivity. I’m not yet convinced I want to go down exactly the same road, but it’s definitely given me some food for thought. JM

Iconic design through user needs

I liked this quote Mark Hurrell pulled out of an interview with Scott McGuire. It’s not that long, go and read it. If it sparks your interest the whole article is worth reading too. TW

Damn Excel! How the ‘most important software application of all time’ is ruining the world

I’m constantly amazed by how many business processes are entirely dependent on Microsoft Excel. Clearly it’s a very accessible piece of software, but its simplicity is deceptive and it’s incredibly easy to get in a real mess.

I only recently became aware of the role of Excel (and copying & pasting!) in JPMorgan’s “London Whale” fiasco. Given the pervasiveness of Excel, I also found it sobering to read about the lack of accuracy of statistical procedures in Excel:

Excel 2007, like its predecessors, fails a standard set of intermediate-level accuracy tests in three areas: statistical distributions, random number generation, and estimation. Additional errors in specific Excel procedures are discussed. Microsoft’s continuing inability to correctly fix errors is discussed.

You have been warned! JM

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